Green Tea & Red Bean Muffin
I read about Cibi on Tummy Rumbles, saw that it was a super trendy mod-Japanese cafe, and hauled-ass straight down there.
45 Keele St
(03) 9077 3941
Cibi is located on a quiet residential street in Collingwood, just off Smith street. It's part cafe, part arty design shop. The decor and menus are very Japanese, but the crowd is totally Collingwood. We went on a Saturday morning and found it to be super busy, which gave us a bit of time to walk around the shop and check out the goods. I was impressed by the LeCorbusier poster and funky homeware pieces on sale. I was also really excited that they have Uniqlo jeans for sale there! Uniqlo is my favourite Japanese brand for jeans - "boyfriend" and "style up bootcut" styles are the best! Was less excited, however, when I saw they were selling them for $150. Ahem! I got them for a third of the price in Japan... but I guess this way you don't have to fork out for the return ticket to Tokyo.
Ok, food. You order at the bar and they bring it out to you. However, once we got seated, it took an aaage for the food and drinks to come out. First up were drinks.
Cappuccino - I *heart* those Romcaffé cups.
Brown tea in cute pot
After about 15 minutes of sitting, waiting, our waitress came up to us asking if I still wanted the Japanese breakfast I'd ordered. They'd just run out of rice and had to start cooking it again, so it would be at least another 30 minutes. And instead of brown rice, they'd be doing regular white rice and millet. We weren't in a hurry, so I told her I'd wait. And I like millet.
We hunkered down and sipped our drinks slowly, waiting....
...nearly fainting from hunger...
... looking at other tables with severe envy...
... and then our food came! Phew.
Sandra ordered toast with strawberry jam (made in-house) and butter. A very plain choice, yes, but it was soo good! The toast was crusty and crunchy, and the jam had huge chunks of strawberry in it. Very yummy.
Sourdough toast w jam and butter - $5
I went for the Japanese breakfast. A bargain at $14.50. You get miso soup...
And a big plate of food.
Traditional Japanese breakfast - $14.50.
Available only on weekends, includes potato salad, salmon, omelette, spinach, and rice. Delicious, hearty, and nutritious. The Japanese-style potato salad is soft and mushy, almost liked mashed potato, and contains gouda cheese and tiny pieces of brocolli. Very different from my beloved kartoffelsalat, but still so tasty. It made me realise that, indeed, I love potato salad in all its forms.
On the way out we picked up that green tea and red bean muffin you see at the top of the post. I needed my brother to do me a favour, and I thought the muffin would make a suitable bribe. I snuck a little taste of the muffin, and found it a little dry. I thought it could have done with a touch more red bean inside. The almond flakes on top, however, were a great touch, and added taste and texture.
Overall I really liked Cibi, despite the long wait for the food. The food was great, and next time I'd like to try the potato salad sandwich, or the gorgeous-looking soba salad. The staff were really nice and I loved the chill-axed atmosphere and bright, airy space. I would highly recommend this place, especially for Japan-o-philes. Oishikute, kimochii ii yo.